Tampa Hillsborough County, Florida


  • Community name: Tampa/Hillsborough County
  • Community or city website
  • Population: 1,167,116
  • Graduation rate: 82.3%
  • Youth poverty rate: 19.3% 


Stressing collaborative effort as a requirement for progress, Tampa/Hillsborough County has created partnerships between individuals, organizations, business leaders and the school district to implement cross-sector initiatives to improve conditions for young people. The Youth Action Collaborative provides an open forum for youth ages 14 to 21 to work with adults in the community so that they may activate the principles of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Children and acquire leadership opportunities. Similarly, Tampa/Hillsborough County prioritizes children by hosting the Graduation Pathway Summit, attended by over 250 people, to raise awareness of current graduation rates and discuss strategies to increase them. The Partnership created more than 1,000 after-school programs for Out-of-School Time, thanks to funding from the Children's Board and the volunteer efforts of 100 individuals and organizations. Tampa/Hillsborough County now graduates 82.3 percent of students and this marks their third win in the competition.

Community Programs

  • The Hillsborough Constituency for Children established the Children's Board as a special taxing district with dedicated funds for children.
  • The Advocacy Committee works closely with state, county and city leaders to recommend a policy agency for children and families each year.
  • The Youth Action Collaborative is an open membership to youth ages 14 to 21 and adults to create a forum where they can come together monthly to educate and inspire children to activate the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children. 
  • The Graduation Pathway Summit in 2011 aimed to raise awareness of current graduation rates and presented a framework of proven strategies including mentoring, out-of-school activities, service learning, parent engagement and preparation for post secondary challenges.
  • The Partnership for Out-of-School Time (POST) includes over 100 organizations and has worked to develop an Action Plan to provide youth ages 5 to 12 with 1,000 year-round out-of-school activities
  • The United Way has funded 500 additional summer program opportunities for the past three years for low income families.

Youth Voices

After being in the Youth Corps for a year, I applied to continue my work with the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council. In this program, I became a true leader for as I helped oversee the new Youth Corps members. During my three years in the Youth Corps and the Leadership Council I found a true passion for politics and I found chances to get involved with the local politicians in my area.